Jennifer Lopez & the Superbowl Half Time Show: We’re Not Empowering Women

(For the record, the above image is not nearly the worst of the half-time show costumes; just what I felt comfortable sharing.)

I realize there is a lot of commentary already about the half-time show in last night’s Superbowl. Everything from “It was despicably sexual” to “another vote for empowered women!”

I needed to write simply to get my thoughts off my chest, I guess.

First let me say, I love Jennifer Lopez as an actor. I also think she’s one of the most beautiful women in the world. Am I jealous that she looks like that at 50? You better believe it. Did I Google “J Lo’s exercise and diet regime”…um, yes I did. Do I think she is an incredibly talented performer? Absolutely.

We didn’t watch the Super Bowl and I looked up the half-time show to see what it was about. It was hard to watch and I didn’t watch it all; just enough. It was so overtly sexual that I find it confounding that everyone isn’t on the same side. Here’s why:

  1. We claim to hate the objectifying of women. Yet, here we are, praising and glorifying the objectifying of women. #scratchingmyhead
  2. We claim to hate human sex trafficking. Yet, here we are, whetting the sexual appetites of men who will exploit sex slaves in what is known as the largest sex trafficking event of the year.
  3. We claim to want empowerment as women, but we DO NOT want our sexuality used as a means of gaining that power. Yet, here we are, using it, and calling it empowerment. #stillscratchingmyhead

First of all, I couldn’t believe how many on my facebook feed wrote something like this: “I’m embarrassed and disgusted that my family/children was subjected to a strip tease.” Seriously? Are you not holding the remote? Is this your way of being righteous today while last night you actually subjected your family to it? #youareresponsible

What is more, I saw a very disturbing (ignorant) assessment of the whole thing that went something like this: “How dare we! We claim to be for encouraging each other as women, for lifting each other up, yada yada…and here we are tearing down these 2 beautiful women who are incredible artists who are representing what real empowerment is.”

I don’t know who wrote that, but they are confused. Calling out an immoral, pornographic act (in a day where pornography is destroying women and families at alarming rates) is NOT the same as “tearing a woman down.” To say that the performance was shameful, raunchy and delivers the wrong message, is not to be equated with “tearing others down.” If that were so, we could never point out wrong. If I said, “Shame on Mr. Smith ( a brilliant business man) for bribing his secretary for a promotion,” you could say, “I thought we were about encouraging others and building them up? Can’t you recognize his business savvy instead of pointing out his faults?”

Shame on you, whomever you are, for shaming others for pointing out what is wrong. Don’t blur the lines.

If we want to empower women, for Heaven’s sake, stop using our sexuality to do it. If we want our daughters to grow up with confidence and self-respect, stop sending the message that they have to be sexual objects to accomplish that. If we want to put an end to pornography and sex trafficking, stop feeding the insatiable lust that drives those industries.

If you disagree with me, PLEASE explain how you discuss these things with your daughters. “Pornography is bad, human sex trafficking is bad, but you can be as sexually provocative as you want, and that has nothing to do with the former things I mentioned.” I need help understanding. Not to mention, from a Christian perspective, it shouldn’t even be a discussion. (“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” Colossians 3:5) Yet, I’m seeing my self-proclaimed Christian friends defend the show.

Can we all, collectively, regardless of religious beliefs, unite on the front that sexual exploitation, no matter how it is packaged, is destructive to our society and certainly doesn’t empower women?

That is all.

(For my blog subscribers, you are probably receiving this post notification about a week after it was written. Due to the large number of subscribers, my delivery system is delayed; I apologize and am working to fix it.)

27 Responses to “Jennifer Lopez & the Superbowl Half Time Show: We’re Not Empowering Women”

  1. Jennifer says:

    No one could or has said it better. Thank you!

    • Sigh. I’m not sure. I feel like I didn’t say it well, but I said something. That needed to be done.

      • Jennifer says:

        You said it very well, acknowledging their beauty and explaining the difference between insulting the women and being offended by the performance. Plus pressing the problem of human trafficking and how we can talk to kids about this, esp if we have dueling views.

  2. Loraine says:

    I feel the same way about that performance. The irony of pushing the female empowerment agenda in that manner. It saddens me. #scratchingmyheadtoo

    Thank you for giving voice to the problem. I thought I was the only one who felt that way.

  3. Kristen says:

    Also thank you for choosing one of the more decent photos for your article ! I have seen way too many Christian articles on this with the pictures being inappropriate … like their speaking against it but glorifying it by the photos they use if that makes sense …..thank you

  4. Rob says:

    Well written! and great perspective. As a father of 3 daughters I couldn’t agree with you more. I did not watch the Superbowl and havent watched the show afterwards, but from what I’ve seen out and about it is troubling. I want my daughters to know they can be strong confident women while not having to rely on their sexuality for that. Celebrate art and talent and strive to better yourself to an image you are perfectly happy with (not put on by society), but it does not need to keep getting worse and worse where you cant see the difference between a show and something at a strip club. And I would add also the same for last year’s show with Adam Levine. Same thing – just with a Male….and the meme commenting on that is so spot on with people who didn’t bat an eye at that, but are with this. Call a spade a spade.

  5. Jenn says:

    Thank you for writing this. I am a KC native, so we watched the Superbowl. However, watching the halftime show never crossed our minds. Actually we usually shut the tv off during commercials even! There was enough hinting prior to the show for us to know, there was no way we were watching it. The few commercials I saw left me scratching my head too. The Secret commercial about women playing football…were they supposed to be playing against men? I mean honestly? What woman, no matter how strong she is wants to go up against a giant 300 lb man? The cry for equality is so ridiculous sometimes! I felt embarrassed for women, like you are just making us look stupid with this junk! There was another one for a face cream I think…it was also about equality for women and it left me feeling confused as well. The sexualizing, and glorifying preserving the youth of women and yet the cry for equality and empowerment. I’m confused.

  6. Layne says:

    Amen, my sister in Christ. Amen.

  7. Toni Sims says:

    Thank you for taking the time out to dissect this important issue and event that took place. God bless you!

  8. Marge says:

    Dressing provocatively has nothing to do with human sex trafficking! What in the world? Sex traffickers don’t scour a city and kidnap the women who are dressed provacatively. They choose the poor, the very young, the destitute, the most helpless. Really, Kelly!

    • Kelly Crawford says:

      (I never said kidnappers scour the street for provocatively dressed women. That’s silly.) Whetting the sexual appetites of men (by more than just dressing provocatively, in this case) at the largest sex trafficking event of the year are inextricably connected. Really, “Marge,” my long lost antagonizing friend.

  9. Ellie says:

    We watch the Super Bowl and never watch the halftime show. I too, find the irony in the halftime show in light of the “empowering women” theme. I know someone already commented on the Secret commercial, but was I the only one who noticed these football playing women took off their helmets to perfectly curled hair and pristine makeup?! Yes, too many contradictions to list! Also, Kelly, thank you for pointing out the physical beauty and artistic talents of the performers, but also being real and pointing out the problems with that halftime show. It’s not a personal attack on anyone, it’s recognizing this blindness that our culture has to what the root issue is! I just want to go to Shakira and J. Lo and say, “You are beautiful, talented, interesting, and worth millions because you’re you. Because you’re made in the image of God and you don’t need glitter and makeup and bare skin to prove it!”

  10. Kelly says:

    I’m not American and don’t even know what the superbowl is. But in regards to sexually provocative performances being called “empowerment” I’ve seen statements that it’s in relation to women being able to choose. That women have the power to choose to dress like an absolute slut if they want to. And apparently, that’s empowering. Part of me though, wonders if J Lo actually *did* have a choice in how she was dressed, and how she performed (if provocative dance moves were an issue – were they? I don’t know, I didn’t see it). I mean, she’s clearly talented. But how popular and wildly successful would she be if she was fat and dressed modestly and hadn’t perfected her outrageous dance moves? Some of the most popular female singers are popular, I think, because of the sexual dress and performance. And if I’m right, there is absolutely NOTHING empowering to women in that whatsoever. It is women bowing down to the sexual appetites of men. Empowering would be J Lo using her immense popularity and influence to make a change.

  11. Kelly says:

    In relation to my above comment of pressure to conform to sexual performances, I have personal experience of this, and it being called “empowering” by those forcing the conforming.

  12. Elizabeth says:

    Yes, yes, and yes! Thank you for this spot on post!

  13. Kristi says:

    They are real life female villains. True narcissists…they do not care who they hurt.
    They love the glory they get. Jesus told us to pray for our enemies…

  14. Stephanie says:

    Thanks for your article! We always turn it off during the halftime show & commercials. There is a petition to boycott Pepsi since they are sponsors of the halftime show. If you are interested in voicing your opinion to the higher-ups who are responsible for this production, you can check it out below!

  15. Crystal W Wright says:

    Thank you for writing this! This expressed everything I’ve been thinking and feeling about the show. We did watch the superbowl and with a houseful of other families and children, but switched the channel to something else during the half time show just in case and are so glad we did!

  16. Alison says:

    When you say you lover her acting are you including one of her most recent roles as a stripper in the movie Hustler?
    I think you made a very broad statementioned there

  17. Claudia says:

    “Shame on you…for shaming others for pointing out what is wrong.”


  18. D. says:

    You had my curiosity peaked as I didn’t even know the Superbowl had happened! I read your post and right away went to Youtube the half-time show. I didn’t make my way through it either; it was disgusting! That show had NOTHING to do with talent and everything to do with being a sex symbol. Does an astounding dancer and singer really need to have their bum cheeks hanging out of an outfit and twisting their bodies into the most sexual positions or can their voice stand on its own as to their talent? If anything, that show proves that J LO and Shakira are not confident in who they are; they need approval of their physical image.

    The saddest part is not that unbelievers fall into the trap of empowerment or using their sexuality, but that believers are not discerning enough to see how much it has crept into our own homes or mindsets.

  19. Diana says:

    You’ve nailed it here. Spot on.

  20. Kristana says:

    I am glad there are still people in the world with their head on straight. I did not watch the game or the halftime show. I did have a conversation with a few people about it afterward that left me feeling overwhelmed by the deep level of confusion, deception, and brainwashing taking place in the world. It is a spiritual blindness. We must speak the truth like you did in this post but realizing that it is deeper than logic. You can’t rationalize with spiritual blindness and demonic oppression. Jesus came to destroy the oppression of the devil in people’s lives. As his ambassadors, we must follow his example and destroy the works of the devil so people can be free of bondage and able to accept Christ. The demonic oppression keeps them unable to see the truth or unable to accept Christ, even if they long to. Christ has given us authority to take dominion and we need to exercise our authority in the spirit.

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